Drunkenly celebrating his successful marriage proposal has earned Daniel Peeni Tipene a 13-month jail sentence.
It could have been a day when Tipene, 33, put his past behind him as he looked forward to a new life with the woman who had accepted his marriage proposal at the Pineacres Motor Camp near Kaiapoi, where they were living.
Unfortunately, when they headed to a pub in Woodend to celebrate, Tipene fell into old habits.
He drove drunk, drove dangerously, and pushed over his brand new fiancee after she had sensibly declined to get into the car with him.
The engagement is over, but the pair remain on reasonable terms.
The unravelling of his life on March 29 was described in detail at his Christchurch District Court sentencing by Judge Paul Kellar, after he had pleaded guilty to charges of repeat drink-driving, dangerous driving, and assault.
He has been in custody since his arrest that day, but he will have more time to serve before he is eligible for release after Judge Kellar imposed the 13-month term.
Defence counsel Andrew McCormick said Tipene had been out of prison only a short time before the offending.
He had served two or three weeks in prison for assault when he was being "stood over" by a group in Rangiora and assaulted a woman in the group.
"March 29 was meant to be a day of celebration," said McCormick.
"He proposed to his partner that morning. She accepted. They went to the hotel to celebrate.
"That was the wrong thing to do, given that he was heavily dependent on a new form of psychiatric medication."
At the pub, old matters were "raked over" and old wounds reopened, McCormick said.
Judge Kellar said Tipene had become heavily intoxicated and his partner had sensibly refused to get in the car when they left the hotel.
He had abused her from the car as she walked home, and he then drove dangerously and crashed into a power pole, before he returned to his partner where he again abused her and pushed her over.
Charges of threatening other residents at the motor camp were withdrawn, but the police found he had a breath-alcohol level of 613mcg of alcohol to a litre of breath.
Judge Kellar noted Tipene had a 1998 drink-driving conviction at the level for under-20-year-olds and that he had further convictions in 2000, 2006, and 2007 as well as driving while disqualified and breach of home detention in 2010.
Imposing the jail term, he described Tipene as a recidivist drink-driver.
"The pre-sentence report says that you don't accept what seems to be obvious - that you have problems with alcohol."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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